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Leave Us Alone: Getting the Government’s Hands Off Our Money, Our Guns, Our Lives

Publisher: William Morrow • 2009 • 384 pages
Leave Us Alone

Grover Norquist created Americans for Tax Reform in 1985 at the request of Ronald Reagan. Since then, his “Taxpayer Protection Pledge” has been signed by hundreds of Congress members, and Norquist has become one of the conservative movement'”s most influential organizers and strategists. Not only does he chair the famous “Wednesday Meeting” in Washington, DC — a weekly gathering of some 120 powerful conservative activists, Republican congressional and executive staffers, writers, think tank members, and business leaders — but he sits on the board of the National Rifle Association, the American Conservative Union, and other conservative organizations. Now, in Leave Us Alone: Getting the Government’s Hands Off Our Money, Our Guns, Our Lives,” the man Newt Gingrich calls “the single most effective conservative activist in the country” explains the nature and power of the coalition he leads.

Norquist presents the modern Republican party as a coalition of varied groups — taxpayers, property owners, gun owners, religious believers, homeschoolers, and the emerging “investor class” — who, though they may disagree on any number of secondary issues, are united in their desire to be left alone by the government. Standing opposed to this “Leave Us Alone Coalition,” as Norquist dubs it, is what he calls the “Takings Coalition,” an amalgamation of separate interest groups — government workers, trial lawyers, labor unions, and government subsidized industries — whose primary voting interest is in seeing the government take things — money, property, control — and redistribute it to another group.

Arguing that a battle between these two coalitions will dominate American politics for the next fifty years, Norquist dissects the economic, demographic, and political trends that will affect its outcome — and illuminates the many battlegrounds upon which the conflict will be fought. Among the highlights:

  • The Wealth Effect: how the increasing number of Americans who own stock is the single greatest American demographic change in the past twenty-five years — and how, as the number of shareholders increase, so does the strength of the Republican Party
  • How the decline of the labor unions — once the great bastions of strength and wealth for the Democrats — has severely weakened the base of support for the Democrats
  • The Fertility Gap: how Republicans have more babies per capita than their liberal counterparts — and how, if the trend continues, it will have tremendous impact on the future electorate
  • How an increasing Mormon population, the “reddening” of the Catholic population and the growth in birthrates among the Orthodox Jewish population all bode well, demographically speaking, for the Republicans
  • How the rise of the conservative media, especially on the radio and cable television, have allowed center-right ideas to permeate through the culture as never before
  • Why the Republicans have been so much more effective on college campuses — despite (and in some ways because of) the fact that university faculties are liberal enclaves
  • How the growth of the home schooling movement — two million students, or 4 percent of school aged children are home schooled — has created a new group who want to be “left alone”
  • Why the growth of the Hispanic population from 4.7 percent of the population in 1970 to 14 percent in 2006 is good news for Republicans — if they avoid making the same mistake they made with Roman Catholic immigrants a century ago
  • A detailed primer on tax reform: powerful arguments and clear explanations of why income should be taxed only once, at a single rate, and be constitutionally protected from increase

Conservatives unite in praise of Grover Norquist’s Leave Us Alone

“Leave Us Alone is a brilliant introduction to the coming revolution in American government by the most consistently effective anti-tax activist in America. The chapter on five great reforms is worth the entire book”— Newt Gingrich

“Grover Norquist is provocative, intellectually fearless, and always worth paying attention to. His new book is Grover at his best which is very, very good. Read this important volume and you?ll understand why Norquist plays such a key role in American politics.”—Karl Rove

“Grover Norquist is unexcelled in political straight talk, and this book should be required reading for faint-hearted Republicans who cannot comprehend what the nature of their appeal to the public must be. For Americans who want their government to leave them alone, this is a clarion call in the political wilderness.”—Robert Novak

“This is Grover Norquist’s mind at work — impassioned, data-driven, and unintimidated by the?lay of the political land.” —Peggy Noonan

“For two decades Grover Norquist has been a leader in forging a coalition of cultural and economic conservatives. Now, in the wake of the Republican defeat in 2006, he looks ahead in Leave Us Alone to the trends that he believes can work to unite conservatives in the years ahead so that the nation can move not “back to Europe” but “ahead to America.” — Michael Barone

“The old dichotomies of left vs. right or liberal vs. conservative have increasingly little relevance for the politics of America. But Norquist?s formulation: the leave-us-aloners vs. the takers, is vital, relevant, and incisive. Viewed through this prism, politics makes sense.—Dick Morris


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